St. Joseph County- Mishawaka (1980-)

In times of political polarization and calculated discord like these, it’s nice to remember a simpler era when parties could occasionally join forces for the common good. In what was called a “rare display of public unity1,” Democratic and Republican commissioners of St. Joseph County came together to approve plans for a new satellite courthouse […]

Read More St. Joseph County- Mishawaka (1980-)

Jennings County- Vernon (1857-)

I’ve been to some small places on this project, including those that don’t even exist on a map. Towns like Rome, Wilmington, and Fredonia -all thriving county seats two hundred years ago- have long since been bypassed, eclipsed, and forgotten. That’s unfortunate, but a project to document all of Indiana’s historic county courthouses must mean all […]

Read More Jennings County- Vernon (1857-)

Ripley County- Versailles (1863-)

Hoosiers like to celebrate our accomplishments. When we complete civic projects, the festivities often include things like a ribbon-cutting, speeches from dignitaries or stakeholders, balloons, music, and even fireworks. Pretty low on the list of typical events are 2,000-person confederate raids that pillage our hometown. But that’s what the nearly-finished Ripley County Courthouse in Versailles […]

Read More Ripley County- Versailles (1863-)

Martin County- Shoals (1877-2002)

Ahoy! Welcome to another installment of Courthousery. Martin County is a fascinating place. Most of the land there, near the Hoosier National Forest, has a lot of trees as you might imagine. Gypsum was discovered in the mid-1900s, and today two major mines -including the nation’s deepest (515 feet)- employ hundreds of locals1. When they’re […]

Read More Martin County- Shoals (1877-2002)

Brown County- Nashville (1873-)

Nashville’s a hot tourist Mecca for many who want to experience a romantic getaway, unique crafts, and great music while letting go of their suburban inhibitions and seeing what the country life has to offer. That’s Nashville, Indiana, by the way- not the capital of the Volunteer State. Gotcha! 

Read More Brown County- Nashville (1873-)

Switzerland County- Vevay (1862-)

Let me do some quick calculations here: I’ve driven more than 10,000 miles to courthouses in four states, and I’ve spent more than 170 hours behind the wheel- that’s an average of nearly 58 miles per hour. I’ve made decent time! I’ve covered all of Indiana’s courthouses, most in central Michigan, all of western Ohio, […]

Read More Switzerland County- Vevay (1862-)

Scott County-Scottsburg (1873/1997-)

One of the first things I learned during this project is that I really hate the “new urbanist” style that defines the new central district of Carmel and other similar developments. For me, the trope is useless in today’s society- we’ve moved beyond the historic construct of a European city center, and the thought that […]

Read More Scott County-Scottsburg (1873/1997-)